When a Dog Bites You, Who Will Pay the Doctor Bills?

Louisa was seriously injured when her neighbor’s dog bit her. Frank also received some pretty serious injuries from a dog bite. They each required treatment at the Emergency Room, including stitches. Frank was left with scars from his dog bites. Both of them racked up some pretty high doctor bills. Illinois laws address situations like this.

Illinois Animal Control Laws

Statute 510 ILCS is known as the Animal Control Act (the “Act). Section 5/2.05a of the Act defines a dangerous dog as a dog that, unrestrained, appears to pose a threat to a person without justification. Section 5/15 defines a vicious animal as “a dog that, without justification, attacks a person and causes serious physical injury or death or any individual dog that has been found to be a ‘dangerous dog’ upon 3 separate occasions.”

Section 15(a)(2) notes several instances where a dog might not be considered vicious:

  • The person injured by the dog was committing a crime against the owner or was trespassing on property owned or occupied by the dog’s owner.
  • The person injured was hurting the dog or its offspring or had hurt them in the past.
  • The dog was in pain, injured, or protecting itself or its owner.

Liability for Dog Bite Injuries

The Act goes on to address situations where a dog attacks or injures someone who is “peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be.” In these cases, the owner of the dog may be liable for civil damages for the full amount of the injury caused by the dog bite.

Louisa and Frank’s Cases

Upon investigating Louisa’s incident, the police learned that Louisa had been walking down the street minding her own business. Without warning, the neighbor’s dog emerged from the yard and attacked her. Under Illinois law, the dog’s owner probably will have to pay Louisa’s doctor bills.

Frank’s situation was different. He had been trespassing on his neighbor’s property intending to steal some items from their back porch. This was not the first time. In fact, he had been caught taunting his neighbor’s dog on several occasions and told not stay off the property. Because Frank did not have a lawful right to be where he was and because he had provoked the dog in the past, the owners probably will not have to pay his medical bills.

Don’t Leave Money Sitting on the Table

If someone else’s dog has injured you, get the compensation you deserve.

At Osvaldo Rodriguez, PC, we have over 20 years’ experience helping clients with personal injury claims. Schedule a free initial consultation with Osvaldo Rodriguez, a lawyer who has dedicated his career to assisting people like you. Just call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the Contact form on our website. We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Chicago, Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, and all of Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Dupage County and Will County.

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